Buckling of Concrete Cooling Tower Shells


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Title: Buckling of Concrete Cooling Tower Shells

Author(s): John F. Abel and Phillip L. Gould

Publication: Special Publication

Volume: 67


Appears on pages(s): 135-160

Keywords: buckling; reinforced concrete; structural analysis. cooling shells towers; hyperbolic .- (structural forms); parabolic shells; stability;

Date: 1/1/1981

The objectives of this review of the buckling of cooling tower shells are to survey available experimental results, to discuss various analytical and numerical approaches, and to evaluate current practice for buckling predictions in design. The paper focuses on the problem of stability of large, concrete hyperboloids subject to wind loadings. There exists only a small body of experimental results relevant to this problem. Three categories of analysis approach are identified and reviewed: (a) scaled-up wind tunnel tests, (b) methods based on axisymmetry, and (c) methods not based on axisymmetry. No single approach is universally accepted or used, and various views of structural modeling are discussed. For example, some designers and research-ers advocate a local buckling criterion as opposed to a global stability treatment. Some other differences include: bifurcation predictions as opposed to limit-point analyses, reduced shell theories to obtain lower bounds rather than full shell theories, and axisymmetric simplifications instead of full nonaxisymmetric methods. It appears that bifurcation calculations with well-verified methods can provide an acceptable estimate of wind-loaded hyperboloid buckling for routine design purposes. The prediction of buckling for the design of cooling tower shells could be improved by more experimental evidence for the verification and comparison of prediction methods.